December 9, 2010 |
The Times' Nov. 23 editorial on local municipalities imposing beach curfews was well intentioned but misinformed. While recognizing fundamental public beach access rights and acknowledging that allowing local governments unilateral discretion over beach closures ? which the California Coastal Commission opposes -- is not a good idea, the editorial the commission's historic approach to dealing with this issue. The Commission is always concerned about public safety issues and takes them into careful consideration when reviewing locally imposed access restrictions.
December 1, 2010 |
Just as the credits are about to roll on Arnold Schwarzenegger's tenure as governor, Pepperdine University constitutional law professor Barry P. McDonald granted him an 11th-hour pardon for having gotten there by being so good at making ultraviolent action films. McDonald seemingly absolves the Governator for his on-screen murders, assaults and mayhem because he helped push to the U.S. Supreme Court an appeal defending an ambiguous law punishing sales of so-called violent video games to minors.
November 20, 2010 |
The deployment of body scanners at U.S. airports is rightly controversial. The devices raise very important privacy issues, and possibly health issues as well, both of which The Times' Nov. 17 editorial "Shut up and be scanned" says are outweighed by security concerns. One downside to this debate, however, is that it distracts us somewhat from asking important questions about the Transportation Security Administration's approach to security overall. The scanners are part and parcel of what has become an unsustainable security strategy; that is, treating each and every passenger, whether an infant child or a uniformed crew member, as a potential terrorist, while attempting to inspect their bodies and belongings for each and every possible weapon.
November 18, 2010 |
The United States attracts more international college students ? 691,000 last year ? than any other country. Recognizing a chance to plug some financial holes, the University of California system is attempting to boost enrollment of non-Californians by recruiting some of those foreign students ("UC campuses move to recruit more out-of-state students," Nov. 14). California is a particularly attractive option to international families seeking to send their children to world-class universities.
November 16, 2010 |
Some critics of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza's order temporarily staying enforcement of the sex offender residency restrictions of Jessica's Law, reported by The Times on Nov. 5, are exploiting the legitimate fears of decent people. These critics ignore the reality that these particular residency restrictions apply to all paroled sex registrants, most of whom have never harmed a child, and do not effectively protect our children. In fact, by creating a crisis of homelessness among sex registrants, broad residency restrictions actually endanger our community.
November 6, 2010 |
The Times' well-intentioned Oct. 30 editorial bemoaning that fact that President Obama hasn't yet granted any pardons or commutations, in which the editorial board correctly notes that the president is "aided in such decisions by the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Justice Department," betrays a profound misunderstanding of the role the pardon office plays in the clemency advisory process. In particular, The Times writes, "Ideally, presidents would give great deference to the pardon attorney's recommendations and take a liberal view of the clemency power, exercising it often and on the basis of clear standards.
November 3, 2010 |
As The Times reported Wednesday, voters did not approve Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure on Tuesday's ballot. Despite the defeat, this is still a watershed moment in the long struggle to end marijuana prohibition in this country. California's historic ballot initiative has impacted the national debate for the long term, placing marijuana legalization squarely in the mainstream of American politics. It is likely to maintain that status for years to come as the national reform movement builds on this remarkable campaign and on the overwhelming support of younger voters.
October 31, 2010 |
An Oct. 28 Times editorial hit the nail on the head by noting that the United Nations' newly released report, "The World's Women," makes a disturbing point: Violence against women remains a stubborn problem around the world. The reminder is timely. Voters in Oklahoma and Louisiana will decide Tuesday on ballot initiatives that would prevent Sharia law from entering the court systems; protecting women's rights is cited as a reason, because Islamic law is believed to sanction such violence.
October 29, 2010 |
Critics of Proposition 19,- which would legalize the private possession of limited quantities of marijuana by adults and allow local governments to regulate its commercial production and retail distribution, will do and say just about anything. Case in point: Radio ads sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce allege that passage of the measure will threaten workplace safety, a campaign The Times reported on in an Oct. 27 article . The claim is a bald-faced lie. Proposition 19 seeks to decriminalize private, adult cannabis consumption while preserving existing legal prohibitions on activities that threaten public safety.